The state of California is currently experiencing a major housing crisis. Despite the passage of several recent measures and propositions funding new developments that will eventually provide spaces for thousands of families, the most recent count by the Homeless Services Authority estimates there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 people in Los Angeles alone that are currently homeless. The problem is enormously complicated and solving it completely will take meaningful and concerted action at the legislative and political levels. However, while we’re waiting for that to happen there are a few things that lawyers looking to make a difference can do to help stem the tide and keep real people off the streets.
Over the past twenty years, labor law in California has become increasingly worker-friendly. In response, many businesses have adjusted by reclassifying workers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. However, the California Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles reexamined and ultimately rejected the existing judicial standard for distinguishing contractors from employees. The Court introduced a new “ABC” test.
The state of California has always suffered from wildfires. However, the scope of the fires in November of 2018 was historical. They destroyed nearly 1.9 million acres of land, caused over $3.5 billion in damages, and cost 104 people their lives. Fires at this scale inevitably lead to a flood of litigation over the amount of money due to private property owners by their insurance companies. However, convincing a court your insurance company owes you more than you were insured for can be tricky.